This year, I decided to jump into the self publishing pool with both feet. Descending has already been published, and Wyrd House starts its Kindle Scout campaign tomorrow. Teatime will be the third, and then I have to decide which of two other books to put out first.
Plots and plans. It’s all about plots and plans. I’ve been doing a lot of research and reading a lot of online posts about self publishing. I am learning a lot, but some questions are not easily answered.
My biggest question at the moment is whether I really need an author newsletter or not.
Many indie authors swear by them, and seem to get good results, but I can’t help thinking they are a little old-fashioned. It seems like every site and store wants to shove crap in your email box on a daily basis, and I avoid all of it like the plague.
That little clicky box you see when you download or order anything online, the one that says “Yes! I want you to email me offers and news!” I always uncheck it. Even so, my inbox is full of offers and news and I don’t read any of it.
I’ve read a couple of articles that suggest author newsletters are on the way out, but there are far more articles saying that they are necessary and effective.
The truth is, I wouldn’t mind writing a newsletter. I enjoy telling people my plots and plans and would like to let people know when new books were coming out. I could also include free content, such as short stories that go with the books, or sneak peeks of upcoming projects. I guess the problem I have with the idea is I can’t decide if anyone would read them. I’m not certain how well I’ll do at building a subscriber list.
It would also be another time sink that takes away from my writing time. Not the newsletter itself, as I said, I would enjoy writing that, but the time spent figuring out the system and trying to get folks to sign up.
Then there’s the money. I’m on a tight, nearly non-existent budget this year for writing and advertising. Now, programs like MailChimp don’t charge until you are sending more than 2,000 emails, so that won’t be a start up issue. However, you have to have a snail-mail address to send newsletters, even online ones. It’s the law. Not having a snail-mail address will put you in violation of the CAN-SPAM act.
To set up an email newsletter without using my home address (because danger!) means I have to rent a P.O. Box. This is what has been stopping me from giving it a go. I can see myself spending money on a P.O. Box and never having a newsletter that’s successful enough that it’s worth it. The UPS Store would cost too much. I simply don’t have the budget. USPS is an option. My hometown’s P.O.Boxes are too expensive, but there is a nearby small town that has boxes available at half the price.
The bottom line is that I have to decide if it’s worth the money to give it a try. I think it could be, but perhaps not yet. For now, I think the newsletter idea is on hold until I have at least two more books out. Then we’ll see.
I actually love author newsletters! I receive about half a dozen at least! It makes me feel like I am less likely to miss an upcoming book. I think you should do it. I would be one of the first to sign up!
I talked with Brian about the P O box expense, and he didn’t blink an eye. I think I will start one after Wyrd House comes out.